Hell’s Cells

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

The Prisoner

Lucian Lockley is in a cell on the moon. He lays on the stainless steel bench and his eyes take leave and run up the side of his cage. The walls seem to angle inward. Elongating in his mind until they all but touch at a point miles above his head.

Earth. That filthy scratched eyeball that spins miles below the back of his mind. A wasted rotting place. Paradise, he thinks.

He wants to go back. But he never will. He wants to smoke and watch television and fuck other people’s wives. He wants to slide the Earth’s dirty sheath deep down into his skin. He wants to feel its warm sweating tongue, as it licks through the halls of his veins. He wants to play with his kids.

It’s been years now since the end arrived and a new beginning began. When wealth and circumstance again divided us up into tribes. How fast the richest of the rich raked at our resources. How swift and neat as they built, and then ascended to their purgatory villas in the sky.

And, here, they will wait as we that were left wipe away the shit, the filth from sides of the bowl.

“You’re gonna need a bigger rock. There are so many more just like me. This new time, it’s an incubator. They’re not repairing the Earth, they’re acclimatizing to it. Only the fool now awaits a new Eden. My beautiful, Eden”

The Prisoner’s Wife

Eden Lockley is laying stretched out on her now half-empty double-bed. Her gaze follows the peeling seam of the wallpaper and her walls too stretch, like monolithic slabs above her head. But these do not taper, they just go on and on until they fade to a blur.

She touches the spot where her husband once lay and she loves that his warmth isn’t there. The crack in her eye-socket hurts as she squints and she calls on out into the nothing.

“I’ll shovel in the street. I’ll feed the furnaces as they swallow back down this waste that we laid. I’ll step atop the tiny minds that seek to control me and I’ll climb right up from this hell. I’ll heave up my children and we, too, will live in the clouds. Adapt. Overcome. Kill, if I have to. But I will win.”

The Prisoner’s Lawyer

Leonardo Tito sits on a bed, surrounded with his toys, deep within his sprawling inflatable mansion. A grotesque puff of opulence, that tethers to a cable that holds it 35,786km above the Mariana Anchor Station, deep beneath the polypropylene sea.

The whiskey stings. Its memory pours into his sunken morning eyes and his walls, they appear to slope outwards, and they funnel the most devilish things.

A seething spillage that engulfs him now as he huddles. His clients. Surface dwellers that he allows up into his world, so he can bask as they fawn and scrape for the heady treats that he forces down into their mouths.

“The river…”, he sighs.

Animals. No matter how he cleans them. No matter how he scents and smooths their skin, he cannot rid them of this new world’s acrid taunt.

Tomorrow, he’ll descend. They’ll again bow as he walks to the river. He will wade out into its bubbling swirl and though its acids will feast, he will sit and he will smile and he will lay down in the surging clink lap of its flow.

13 Comments

  1. 82daisy

    What I really like is how you keep linking back to eyes. The use of it as a literal and a metaphor is clever. And it ties the three prongs of the story together too. I particularly enjoyed not knowing if Luciens eyes running over the prison walls was literal or metaphorical!

  2. jaltdelete

    I always perk up when I see it’s one of your stories. Your gift for prose and wordplay never disappoint.

    Thank you.

    • Hari Navarro

      Thank you very much jaltdelete. It is a great and very welcome gift for readers to leave such encouraging comments for writers. It is the fuel that fortifies and gives us belief that our words have something to offer. Again, many thanks.

  3. xdhz8

    Thoughtful and, as always, a fresh use of language, Hari. Nice work!

    • Hari Navarro

      Cheers David, I think that the support and criticism you offer writers here is invaluable. We all need to believe in our work and strive to develop and improve. Thank you.

  4. andreavolpe34

    Another tragic broken world. Nicely done.

    • Hari Navarro

      I think I really should try and be more positive. I have a favorite singer and she says its near impossible for her to write happy songs. But, she wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

  5. Emma Brown

    Another thought provoking piece. Thank you.

  6. wasteland66

    Having spent time in a cell (part of a university trial) I can relate to your descriptions of the walls. I still have nightmares.

    • Hari Navarro

      Where did you go to school? The university of Chateau d’If? 🙂 🙂 Thanks for reading and I’m happy you got something from it.

      • wasteland66

        I had to Google that and I’m happy to say it wasn’t my university. Did feel prison like at times though I must say!

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